Unintentionally nearby

I’ve had a lot of conversations in the last week with people in difficult situations. I can’t remember all of the conversations. I can’t remember all the people. I can’t remember all the situations.

I do remember this one:

A patient and a friend were in the standing in the hallway near her room. The friend suggested that she talk to a chaplain. I overheard the suggestion because I was waiting to go into the room next door. I turned and said, “did I hear ‘chaplain’?”

I had. We talked.

She wondered a bit about God noticing her. I suggested that my standing by the room may have been part of that noticing. I explained that being there at that moment was not part of any planning on my part. I was unintentionally nearby.

I’m not making an argument in a debate. I’m not offering proof in research. I’m more interested in the ways God is in relationship.

It’s Thursday of Holy Week. And storms week and whatever else has been part of your week. There’s a lot of noise and speculation and weariness. Just like the Thursday of Holy Week.

I’m asking God for you and for me for moments of noticing. Today and for the next few days.


The invitation from my friend, Greg, was irresistible. “If there was a memorial service for Jesus, what would Nicodemus say in a eulogy?”

Here’s what I wrote. The eulogy part will be part of the service on Good Friday evening. The rest I wrote to help myself think through the moment.

Nicodemus 2023